December 13, 2013

Federal Circuit Decisions for Week Ending December 6, 2013

Vistan Corp. v. Fadei USA, Inc. (December 3, 2013) Case Nos. 2013-1216, -1217 (nonprecedential); Patent No. 5,870,949

Key point:

  • Claims not using “means-for” language may be interpreted under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6 when defined functionally instead of by reference to a particular structure or materials.

Futurewei Technologies, Inc. v. Acacia Research Corp. (December 3, 2013) Case No. 2013-1090 (precedential)

Key points:

  • When two actions that sufficiently overlap are filed in different federal district courts, one for infringement and the other for declaratory relief, the declaratory judgment action, if filed later, generally is to be stayed, dismissed, or transferred to the forum of the infringement action.
  • Exceptions to the first-to-file rule may be made if justified by considerations of judicial and litigant economy, and the just and effective disposition of disputes (e.g., convenience and availability of witnesses, absence of jurisdiction over all the parties, possibility of consolidation with related litigation, or considerations relating to the real party in interest).

Related Team:

Steven E. Roberts